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Rebel shelling kills 8 civilians in Yemen city

By AFP - Jun 06,2016 - Last updated at Jun 06,2016

People stand outside the International Airport of the southern port city of Aden, on Monday (AFP photo)

ADEN — Eight civilians including five members of one family were killed in 24 hours of shelling by Iran-backed rebels on residential parts of Yemen’s third city Taez, local officials said Monday. 

Three children were among those killed in clashes that have continued despite a ceasefire and peace talks in Kuwait between Houthi rebel and loyalist delegates, the sources said.

Another 13 civilians were wounded, the sources added, accusing the rebels of firing mortar and artillery rounds into the residential areas.

Rebel shelling of the besieged government garrison in Taez killed 11 civilians on Saturday, drawing condemnation from UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

He has urged both sides to respect the ceasefire that took effect on April 11.

However, the government sources in Taez said nine loyalist fighters were killed and 26 wounded in 24 hours of clashes in the city’s eastern districts.

Military sources told AFP that 12 rebels were also killed.

Witnesses said fighting continued on Monday across several residential neighbourhoods of the southwestern city.

Aden is the headquarters of the Saudi-backed government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi since the capital Sanaa and swathes of the north and centre of the country are held by the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies.

In the neighbouring province of Abyan, a gunman on the back of a motorbike killed the commander of a loyalist army brigade late on Sunday, a security official said.

Colonel Mohammed Salem Al Abbadi was one of the founders of the pro-government militias that drove Al Qaeda out of Abyan in 2012.

Saudi Arabia led a military intervention against the rebels in Yemen in March last year, and the ensuing conflict has been exploited by the Daesh terror group and rival Al Qaeda jihadists to expand their presence in the impoverished Arab nation.

 

In recent months, Saudi-led forces have taken action against the extremists with US support, driving them out of several southern cities they had overrun.

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